How Does WordPress Generate Feeds?

Written by Jean Galea
Written by Jean Galea
So how does WordPress generate the feeds for your blog? This post explains the process of how WordPress generates its feeds.

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So how does WordPress generate the feeds for your blog?

By default WordPress gives you some settings related to syndication. Here’s a screenshot of these settings:

feed options

The first option sets how many feed items your feeds page should show. Pretty straightforward stuff.

The next radio buttons let you decide whether your feed should show a summary of your post or the full content.

When you enable only the summary, WordPress will only populate the <description> tag in the resulting RSS XML file.

When you enable the full text option, WordPress will populate the <description> and the <content> tags in the RSS output.

You’re probably asking how WordPress generates the text for the <description> tag. Good question. First it checks whether you have created any manual excerpts and uses those. If no manual excerpts are found, it will use the get_the_excerpt() function which in turn uses the wp_trim_excerpt() function to return a summary of 55 words. If the string is less than 55 words, then the content will be returned as is.

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Written by Jean Galea
Jean Galea is an investor, entrepreneur, and blogger. He is the founder of WP Mayor, the plugins WP RSS Aggregator and Spotlight, as well as the podcast. His personal blog can be found at

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